MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Melbourne-based Orica Ltd. has sold its polyurethane business to Huntsman Corp. for A$48 million (US$29.5 million). Orica, a diversified manufacturing company, announced the deal Feb. 18. Philip Weickhardt, Orica managing director and chief executive officer, said the sale price includes a deferred settlement of about A$6 million (US$3.7 million), payable within two years. Payment is subject to the business meeting performance targets.
The sale includes Melbourne-based manufacturing and technical-development facilities.
The PU business has sales of about A$50 million (US$30.7 million), employs 45 and makes a range of PU-based chemicals for the appliance, footwear and automotive industries, among others, Weickhardt said.
Salt Lake City-based Huntsman already has Australian operations, including styrene and phenolic resins, as well as a surfactants business it purchased from Orica in December 1998.
Weickhardt said the rationale of the current sale is the same as it was for the sales of Orica's technical coatings and surfactants businesses.
"These businesses all have global customers looking for global suppliers offering global technology," he said.
"Huntsman is a world player in PU and is a more natural long-term owner of this business than we are."
After-tax profit on the sale, excluding the deferred payment, will be about A$26 million (US$16 million), Weickhardt said.